Finding a job is hard work. Thankfully there are professionals that can help. If you haven’t worked with a recruiter before–or even if you have–you might be unsure about the advantages of working with a good one. To highlight some of them, our team at The Hire Firm compiled this quick list of benefits.
1. Industry Contacts
You need them and recruiters have them. We spend our days talking to accountants and the people who hire them, mostly in New Mexico. Starting your search with a recruiter can quickly get your resume in front of hiring managers. And that’s not all: a good recruiter has a consultative relationship with the hiring managers you need to know, and they trust our recommendations.
2. Help with Your Resume
Recruiters see at a lot of accounting resumes, and we know what a strong candidate looks like on paper. We can help you understand how your resume is being received by hiring managers. If you think your resume only needs to state your responsibilities, you need a recruiter more than you realize! We’ll help highlight your strengths and accomplishments and offer suggestions for improvement. Inconsistent formatting and typos disqualify more candidates than anything else.
3. Access to Jobs
According to Google, a whopping 80% or more of jobs fall into the “hidden job market” and are never advertised. Whatever the real number is, it’s clear that many jobs go unadvertised, including accounting and finance roles, from individual contributors to Controllers and CFOs. Networking is cited as the biggest source for new hires. Don’t have time to network? A good recruiter is always building relationships with hiring managers and job seekers. A relationship with one recruiter could yield connections with 10+ hiring managers. And companies often engage recruiters to help fill confidential roles.
If confidentiality is important to you, being selective about the recruiter you work with is key. Good recruiters will talk to you about a role or company before they share your resume. The unscrupulous ones may forward your information indiscriminately, without your knowledge. Backdoor references are real and can lead to uncomfortable situations with your current employer. So don’t be too quick to share your resume with someone who may not have your best interests at heart.
5. Planting a Seed
They say the best time to look for a job is when you already have one. Similarly, the best time to begin building a relationship with a recruiter is before you’re looking to make your next move. Instead, try having an exploratory conversation with a recruiter to learn what’s going on in your market, talk about your career so far and how you might like to see it develop. Donning their “career counselor hat”, a good recruiter can help you get clear on what’s most important to your job satisfaction. Then they can keep you in the know about new opportunities as they arise, and you can consider their merits without the pressure of having to make a quick move.
6. Coaching and Preparation
Your job search is a big project with lots of steps along the way. That’s why a good recruiter will ask thoughtful questions, help you uncover what’s important to your job satisfaction, frame your experience to hiring managers, and help prepare you for interview success. Not sure how to talk about that former boss who was a jerk, or how to frame a wrongful termination? We can help!
7. Interview Feedback
If they have good relationships with their clients, recruiters will often have quick feedback for you after interviews. Our process, for example, includes post-interview debriefs with both clients and candidates, so we can plan next steps, or allow parties to move on. In either case, you shouldn’t be left in the dark. You won’t always leave the conversation with a job offer, but you’ll be better prepared for your next interview.
8. Help Interpreting Your Resume to Hiring Managers
If you’re like most people, your work history may include a gap in employment, short tenure at one or more jobs, consulting or contract work, or other detours that may present as potential red flags. Hiring managers and HR professionals are often too busy to read cover letters and your resume could end up in the recycling bin. A good recruiter will have an in-depth conversation with the hiring manager, providing context for your work history, so hiring managers understand your employment transitions, while they’re reading your resume.
9. One Interview, Multiple Introductions
Searching for work takes a lot of time. Working with a recruiter can consolidate your efforts. A single interview with a recruiter can lead to multiple company introductions.
10. Special Consideration
Hiring managers often give special consideration to the resumes they receive from recruiters over those they receive through their own employment ads. Whereas traditional advertising results in lots of unqualified applications, recruiters screen their candidates to meet job requirements and expectations. Hiring managers know you have already passed initial screenings to get to their inbox.
11. Help with Negotiations
If you’re like most people, negotiating isn’t your strong suit. But not doing so turns every offer into a take-it-or-leave-it scenario. With many offers starting low to allow room for negotiation, you could be leaving money on the table. We are skilled negotiators and can help you navigate this delicate stage. A good recruiter will also talk to you about your total compensation expectations, before they introduce you to any employers. They’ll know what you’re looking for in terms of salary and benefits, paid time off and flexible work arrangements, what you’re willing to compromise on, and whether you might consider trading wages for better quality of life. And since typically the more you make, the higher the fee they collect from their client, recruiters have a vested interest in negotiating a higher salary for you.
12. Client Intelligence
Job descriptions summarize mostly hard skills, but many other considerations go into a successful hire. For example, hiring process, soft skills, personalities, stakeholder concerns, strengths and weaknesses of the department or company, market concerns, company history and plans for the future–all play into the selection process. Recruiters often have the inside scoop. So they can help you understand what’s motivating hiring managers, where you fit in, and where the opportunities are. They can also save you time by keeping you from a potentially bad fit. Not all companies can offer room for advancement, flexible schedules, growth opportunities, or other criteria important to your career satisfaction and development.
13. It’s Free!
As a candidate, you should never pay anything for a recruiter to represent you. That rule always applies, but especially in a candidate-driven market like the current one. Good talent is hard to come by, so companies are willing to pay a premium for it. That’s a lot of value for a small investment of time. So be kind to your recruiter!
14. Candid Communication
You can have conversations with your recruiter that you might not have with a hiring manager. You may not know when to introduce the fact that you already planned a 2-week vacation for next month, or the fact that you’ll have to leave early on Tuesdays when your daughter starts soccer in the fall. We can help. We know which employers have a flexible culture, and which ones are more rigid. Maybe you need to know you won’t be micromanaged or need to have autonomy to feel fulfilled. While most hiring managers don’t advertise these things, a recruiter with a long-standing relationship with a hiring manager will.
15. Long-Term Prospects
We have databases, and we’ll save notes from our conversation to supplement your resume. We might be working on the right next opportunity for you at the moment we talk. If not, we’ll know just what you’re looking for, so we can contact you as soon as it surfaces. When you build a long-term relationship with a local recruiter, you have the chance to build an advocate for the duration of your career.